Before the Buckets
Why financial planning? Most of us are responders rather than planners. When we spend, we respond to outside forces instead of planning where our money will go.
There are four truths that make it wise for us to plan rather than respond. They are:
- We all have limited resources.
- There are always more ways to spend money than money available to spend.
- Today’s decisions impact our future. A dollar spent now cannot be used tomorrow for something different.
- The longer term your perspective, the better your decisions will be.
Having a financial plan de-clutters our financial picture. Knowing our priorities and our long-term goals lessens the confusion of daily financial decisions. We are free to be unique.
In short, there are only TWO key truths that lead to long-term financial freedom. From a spiritual angle, you must recognize that God owns it all so that you are free from grasping and anxiety. From a practical angle, you must spend less than you earn and do it for a long time. Without a commitment to these two things, you will never be financially free.
Money is symptomatic and emblematic. Every financial decision you make reveals something about your priorities. Accumulating wealth is never a valid end in itself. Therefore, the process of financial planning will drive you to discover your priorities and your values. Financial planning is a gift that will help you to see where your life is in balance and where it is out of balance with your desires and goals.
With every financial decision you make, ask yourself, “What am I really trying to accomplish?” If you take away the dollar layer and get to the underlying purpose, you’ll learn so much!
Spend some time thinking about your money and your priorities. If your checkbook were the place that revealed your heart, what would it show? What would you want it to show?